Greetings from Girl HQ!
We hope you’re having a lovely summer, we’ve been hard at work putting something brilliant together for day of the girl. This year we’re changing it up a bit and will be celebrating International Day of the Girl at the beautiful Guildhall (or as we like to call it, the Girldhall). Just look at how beautiful it is!
As well as a change of scenery, there’s also been a change behind the scenes. One of our co-founders Sarah has taken a short break while she welcomes a new baby to her family. Congratulations Sarah! As a result we are delighted to welcome Helen and Erica to the organising team. Both have been really involved with the project over the past few years so fit in perfectly – we are very pleased to have them!
This year we are continuing our exhibition of art and creative works from young people in the region and invite anybody who’d like to get involved to get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our theme this year is: ‘Working Together to Create a Brighter Future’ and we’ll be hosting lots of fun activities for those of all ages.
This year there will discussions and creative workshops covering topics such as:
- Norfolk Men Say No
- Girls in Sport
- The Suffragettes
We’re hoping to provide workshops that include practical activities such as rosette making (support votes for women!), zine making (have your say!), artwork (get creative!) and if all goes to plan, a ping pong table!
So, watch this space and be sure to follow us on facebook and on twitter as we announce more details in the run up to International Day of the Girl 2015.
Much love from all at Girl HQ!
I accidentally started out in business at the age of 23, having been in a pop band that toured with Take That and then playing Cinderella in Disneyland for a while. My CV certainly wasn’t impressive, in fact it looked like a 5 year old child had dreamed it up.
No degree, no clear career path and no idea what I actually wanted to do. Luckily for me, the one thing I had buckets of was ambition and that (with some added sheer, dumb luck) has found me running a successful business 5 years later.
The Wharf Ltd. is a music school based in Norwich. I knew I would be involved in music, but never anticipated full-time teaching for a living. However, my role here at The Wharf began with me teaching 10 hours a day and then catching up on Admin and lesson planning in the evening, 6 days a week. Over the last 5 years I’ve gained a team of 10 brilliant tutors and Administrators that has allowed my role to change. I now manage my team and develop the business, teaching a few students in the evenings. In 2010 I won the Young Business Woman of the Year Award, giving me the boost of confidence I needed to grow my business further. We now have a client base of 500+ students and a turnover expected to hit £200k next year.
As a young female in business, I did encounter difficulties. From the patronising Estate Agent who wasn’t keen to even discuss the lease on a premises, to the networking events filled with men in suits who had no interest in my business, but wanted me to sing at their staff parties. To be taken seriously was difficult and I’m still finding moments to this day when I feel the need to justify myself to people. Occasionally I will have a brief moment of regret about not achieving a degree, usually when I’m struggling with a difficult situation. It’s these moments when I remind myself that I have achieved more than I could have anticipated, that having a degree would not have made this process easier.. I’m learning constantly by mistakes I make every day. Running a business is like learning to drive a car. You can be taught how to do it, but until you’re out on the road by yourself, hands on the wheel and steering alone, that’s when you learn to take control.
Looking back over my career in business so far, the one thing that really stands out to me is just how great other women in business have been. Whether it’s specific groups such as the team at Everywoman (a dedicated, online support network for women in business) networking groups in the city aimed specifically at women, Twitter members who support and share advice… there is a wide network of people out there, both male and female, who will support women in business and appreciate just what we are able to achieve. The idea that for a woman to succeed in business she has to be brutal, cut throat and willing to sacrifice starting a family is long gone… this is the new dawn of female entrepreneurship and “mumpreneurs”. It’s meant to be difficult, but that’s what makes it so very rewarding.
The Wharf Academy
So, it’s been a busy few weeks at Girl HQ and we are super excited that the Evening News has covered the project.
The article talks about our Girl Ambassador programme – but what is a Girl Ambassador and what do they do? We thought that it was important that girls were at the centre of this project – it is by them, for them and about them. With this in mind we set about trying to realise our idea of building a network of girls across Norfolk. These girls would help to lead the project and make sure that we’re heading in a direction that is relevant and useful to girls.
Girl Ambassadors will act as leaders within their communities (these could be schools, youth groups, villages or even just a few friends who are interested in the project). The Girl Ambassadors will be the main point of contact and will help to share the vision of Day of the Girl Norwich and celebrate and raise awareness of what it means to be a girl.
Because Norfolk is a big place and not all of it is served by public transport, we needed something that was more than just meeting up – although this is one aspect of what we are trying to do. Much of how we communicate as a network will take place online – using blogs and social media to set the agenda and co-ordinate the events.
We know that girls have got lots to say about what is good but also not so good about being a girl and what we hope to do with the Girl Ambassadors is to make sure that this project creates that space effectively.
Girl Ambassadors will play a big role in making GirlsRoar a lively place for discussion and sharing. GirlsRoar is our online initiative which we really hope will be led by girls from our community. You can find us on Twitter (@girlsroar) – so follow us and send us your tweets. Your tweets can be about something cool that has happened to you or something that annoys you or about anything else girl related!! If you’re not on twitter you can always #girlsroar on instagram and whatnot.
So, send us your thoughts, your pictures – or whatever else you’d like to share! We can’t wait to build a space that is really led by you!
If you would like to write or do something for this blog then get in touch – we’re always looking for enthusiastic girls who want to have their voices heard!
Over and out for now, from Tori and Sarah at Girl HQ!